The United States has criticised what it calls "bellicose rhetoric"
from Russia over US plans to develop a missile shield in Europe.
Russia said it would be forced to react with military means if the US
went ahead with its plan for a shield based partly in the Czech
The reaction was "designed to make Europeans nervous about participating" said a Pentagon spokesman.
A White House spokesman said dialogue with Russia would continue.
"We seek strategic cooperation on preventing missiles from rogue
nations, like Iran, from threatening our friends and allies," said
White House spokesman Gordon Johndroe.
He said the US and Russia should be "equal partners".
Moscow says siting the system near its borders could weaken its
own defences, despite US assurances that it is designed to counter a
threat from the Middle East, not from Russia.
It has previously threatened to aim its own missiles at any eventual base in Poland or the Czech Republic.
A deal, signed by US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in
Prague on Tuesday, allows a tracking radar base to be set up on Czech
'Not our choice'
The Russian foreign ministry statement said: "If a US strategic
anti-missile shield starts to be deployed near our borders, we will be
forced to react not in a diplomatic fashion but with military-technical
It said there was "no doubt that the grouping of elements of the
strategic US arsenal faced towards Russian territory" would mean Moscow
had to "take adequate measures to compensate for the threats to its
"This is not our choice," it added.
The foreign ministry said it would continue to monitor developments but
would remain open to constructive talks on issues of strategic
The BBC's Adam Brookes in Washington cites Russia's ambassador to the
UN as suggesting that the phrase "military-technical means" does not
mean military action, but more likely a change in Russia's strategic
posture, perhaps by redeploying its own missiles.
More likely still, our correspondent says, is tha
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